There is a reoccurring statement ... a theme really ... that has been seared into our subconscious. It now haunts us every time we think of our beloved franchise. "I'd like to play in Dallas or in Houston (end my career)... so that I can play close to my family". Was it true? Wow! Here's the highest paid member of our franchise and he wants to be somewhere else.
From a child's perspective, this statement is as normal as apple pie. We all wanted to play in front of our parents or family members which is admirable as we wanted them there when we achieved something truly special. The reality however is that for many of us, we rarely had family in attendance, where we were made to bring our exploits home to them or it just never rose to the level of other family events.
There is however a major glaring problem with this statement. There are 31 other franchises that would love to have Adrian Peterson be allowed to join their squad and with that 31 groups of ravenous fans that want nothing more than to destroy what thrives in Minnesota. They are even bold enough to say, "I wish the commissioner had the power to save Adrian Peterson from that franchise to save him from what Detroit put Barry Sanders through". Believe me that if that individual had the power to do so, he'd do it in a minute because he certainly has his favorite franchises. Heck ... after Adrian's statement ... you even had Jimmy Johnson set the price for Adrian Peterson on the Sunday pre-game offering a #1 and a #2 at most for his services to play in Dallas. Funny how Dallas ... a franchise that counts ... is given a seat at the NFL's elite table.
Here's the problem for this franchise. Adrian Peterson up to this point ... this statement ... was the model of this league. His efforts on the field made him a warrior with unquestioned values. Sure he fumbled in the Red Zone in New Orleans in 2009 championship but it was apart of his history ... not his character. By comparison, Bret Favre's championship games interceptions versus the Giant's and the Saint's marks a completely different story. Again, up to this point, here was a man ... comparative to the Great Walter Peyton ... that was doing everything in his part to create this franchises first Super Bowl Championship, and now we are faced with these fatalistic words that now cause us great deal of anguish. Now, we have this organizations response to that statement.
Recently I was exposed to the tale of Hall of Fame inductee Lawrence Taylor. What was discerned was that after the departure of Parcells ... he was never the same athlete ... we he admitted that he'd essentially mailed in his last 3 seasons. Do we find ourselves at the same turning point with Adrian Peterson. Enter our new offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
Norv Turner has had a great deal of success in this league. Let me assure you that he has the ability to find a quarterback for this franchise and he's not going to be hamstrung in his play calling for that passer, but there is a more ominous factor that looms even bigger for this franchise. Old Norv is directly linked with the following names ... Herschel Walker and LaDainian Thomlinson, and most recently of all ... Trent Richardson. With Walker, Norv pulled off a historic trade with the Vikings that brought the Cowboys Emmitt Smith and solidified a dynasty in Dallas. With Richardson, Norv traded for a #1 pick while time will tell that he may have saddled the Colts for years to come. The point here is that old Norv will be trusted to maximize the efficiency of his thoroughbred regardless of whether we can see it or not. At this juncture, words from Adrian Peterson by comparison are meaningless as compared to his ability to lead this team where Norv will be trusted to evaluate Adrian Peterson's abilities to lead this team forward ... as it should be. In fact, the less Adrian Peterson says at this point ... the better for this franchise. Regardless of the outcome, we fans should be preparing ourselves for Norv's evaluation as it may contain cancerous growths that must be expunged.
So what are the thoughts? Since an outright release just is not a possibility then it leaves two apparent paths. In one case, if Adrian Peterson is exposed to a trade. History tells us that this will not go well for Adrian Peterson and no one can stomach the thought of Randy Moss cutting of his nose to spite the face of this Viking franchise. The second path, is the path for which Adrian Peterson was built. The answer of course lies behind that infamous hand shake.
"I am a man and I'm here to complete an objective that from time to time will require leadership that goes far beyond just simple words. I'm no rookie. If I can help the team accomplish those goals then I will voice my opinions but I will do so only by following the established system and it's chain of command. In the grand scheme of thing what I think is irrelevant as no one here can ever be 100% satisfied or happy ... less achieving that ultimate goal. My path is clear and that path is personal in nature as it belongs only to me. I would ask you to respect my request and allow me to accomplish what I am here to do."
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: February 18. 2014